Yesterday, a two page decision issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit effectively reinstated large parts of the infamous New Jersey carry-killer bill. The decision reeked of activist judges putting personal preference over civil liberties, the Constitution and US Supreme Court rulings, and included no reasoning or explanation based on law or precedent.
Circuit Judges Krause, Porter and Chung granted in part and denied in part an emergency motion for stay pending appeal in the consolidated Koons v. Reynolds case that challenges New Jersey’s Bruen-response bill. The unconstitutional New Jersey law, passed in December last year, effectively made nearly all of the state off-limits to concealed carry of a handgun, including in one’s own car, on state land and on nearly all private property.
Judge Krause is an Obama appointee, Judge Chung a Biden appointee, and Judge Porter a Trump appointee. Judge Porter dissented, making it a 2-1 ruling.
The surprising stay was granted against the well-reasoned preliminary injunction that Judge Bumb issued in May, which gave a great deal of relief to those in New Jersey with valid concealed carry permits (PTCs) and was deferential to the Bruen ruling last year. The order was also accompanied by an expedited briefing schedule as follows:
- Appellant’s Opening Brief due June 30, 2023
- Appellees’ Brief due Jul 31, 2023
- Appellants’ Reply Brief due Aug 14, 2023
The stay effectively reinstates the prohibitions that were specifically blocked by the previous preliminary injunction in the following sections of New Jersey’s Chapter 131 law; that is, these are locations one can NO LONGER carry under the stay:
- a public gathering
- a zoo
- a park, beach, or other recreation facility
- a publicly owned or leased library or museum
- a bar or restaurant where alcohol is served
- a privately or publicly owned and operated entertainment facility
- a casino
- a healthcare facility, (medical office, or ambulatory care facility)
Other parts of the stay pending appeal were denied, and significantly included private property open to the public and the prohibition against carrying in one’s vehicle. This means, that in large part, PTC holders will still be able to go about their business armed. A commute to work, followed by a trip to the grocery store and the dry cleaners and filling up at a gas station before returning home would all theoretically fall under elements of the preliminary injunction that still stand. Sadly, a weekend trip to the shore, a casino or hiking in a park are now activities where one must go unarmed.
2A Attorney and legal analyst, Mark Smith of Four Boxes Dinner YouTube channel opined on Twitter, “Given this terrible panel, I am surprised we did as well as we did…. That Judge Chung (and Krause) did NOT stay Judge Bumb’s order in its entirety is a huge victory for us given their judicial views. That we won on the Default Property issue is a very good sign b/c that’s a huge issue for 2A. This is NOT the end of the matter.”
We will be updating our FAQ section shortly with areas where PTC holders can and cannot carry and we will continue to cover this story.